Illinois State Board of Education Makes Changes to ISAT Performance Levels
Illinois schools will see a decline in their students’ ISAT performance level (Exceeds, Meets, Below Standards, and Academic Warning) at the elementary and middle school levels. This change is similar to changing a grading scale where 90-100 was considered an A, and now the scale is changed to 94-100 to achieve an A. The State of Illinois has raised the bar for all students. [More Info]
District 7's Veterans Day Celebration
Students across the district gathered at Edwardsville High School to celebrate the sacrifices of our military veterans! Veterans from WWII to current conflicts in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan were present to be honored. Some came in their fatigues, while others came in full military uniforms!
The EHS Acapella Singers sang songs of battle and also sang songs that represented each part of our military, from the Navy to the Marines. As each military branch’s song was sung, military veterans stood to be recognized and acknowledged.
A student representative from each school was present and was presented with an American flag for their schools. The American flag each student received was from combat service within each branch of the military. The flag received by Nelson School will be flown over our school building in recognition of all the veterans. It was an honor for our students to be present among those who risked their lives for our freedom, and each student present had a family member who had either served or is currently serving in the military.
The student chosen to represent Nelson Elementary School was Emma Schrimpf. Emma is a 2nd grader at Nelson School whose grandfather and great-grandfather both served in the military. Emma is also an outstanding student, always has a smile on her face and a student who serves as a great example within our school community!
Congratulations Emma, you represented Nelson School extremely well !!!!
Kindergarteners Turn into Little Scientists
Jeff Daniels, Estelle Borden, Yale Weaver, Ian Saavedra
Julie VanVoorhis' kindergarten classroom at Nelson Elementary School was bustling with little scientists at work last week. The kindergartners were learning how scientists make a hypothesis and then undergo an experiment to test their theories.
VanVoorhis' lesson was a perfect demonstration of how technology in the classroom engages students but also how a hands-on activity reinforces the new knowledge learned.
VanVoorhis challenged her students to think about everyday objects and whether or not they would sink or float in water. The young scientists sat fully engaged on the carpet in their classroom as VanVoorhis quizzed them. “What do you think makes something float? You need water for something to float, right?” VanVoorhis asked her kindergartners. “Do boats float? They sure do. Do you think everything with a flat bottom will float?”
After further explaining what made some objects float or sink, VanVoorhis turned to her PolyVision whiteboard which displayed a fun educational program designed specifically for this subject matter. She asked her students to approach the board and make predictions about whether common objects such as a piece of wood, a paperclip, a grape and a piece of paper would sink or float in water. The young scientists chose an object, made a prediction and then watched on the PolyVision board as the object sank or floated.
Once several students had taken a turn at the PolyVision board, VanVoorhis set the stage for a hands-on reinforcing activity. “We're going to be scientists,” VanVoorhis announced to the students. “We're going to do some experimenting at your tables.”
The students reassembled in small groups at their desks and took turns selecting a paperclip, feather, rubber band, penny, pencil and golf ball to drop into a bucket of water at their desks. “You're going to see if they float or sink,” VanVoorhis said. “But just like scientists, we're going to make predictions first.”
The kindergartners made their predictions, performed their experiments, recorded their findings, and reconvened back on the carpet at the PolyVision board where they went through even more objects, via the whiteboard software, to determine if they thought the items would sink or float.
VanVoorhis commented about her students' ability to adapt to the PolyVision board. “They are probably better at it than most adults. The way they maneuver that thing and manipulate it is just incredible,” she said. “Anything they can do on a computer, they can do with this (PolyVision) pen now. I'll hand them the pen, and they can just do it themselves.”
VanVoorhis also noted how the PolyVision board had become a part of everyday learning. “Every day we do something on there,” VanVoorhis added. “I scan papers in now so that I can show them big on the board instead of the old fashioned way of hanging up the paper. Now I scan them in and we do it on the board together. It's much easier for them to see. They love it. They don't get tired of it at all. Every time I say turn around to the board, they say, “Yes!” and they turn around to the board yet they don't even know what's coming up or what I'm going to be doing on it.”
While the PolyVision board provides a vehicle for engaging and learning, the correlating hands-on activity was equally as important in the learning process. Nelson Elementary School Principal Tanya Patton emphasized the value of hands-on learning activities for kindergarten through twelfth grade students. “Giving students hands-on experiences will allow them to build upon that experience long after the lesson is over and will remain in their memory well throughout their educational careers,” she said
12/2: School Resumes
12/3-12/18: Nelson's Giving Tree
12/5: AR Store Opens @ 3:15pm
12/5: EHS Holiday Play
12/11: 1st Grade's Ginger Bread Houses
12/13: Polar Express Day @ 1:30pm
12/16: Board Mtg @ Woodland @ 7:30pm
12/19: AR Store Open @ 3:15pm
12/19: 1st Grade's Reindeer Rackets @ 2:30pm
12/20: Nelson's Spirit Day (wear Nelson gear/orange & black)
12/20: Holiday Parties @ 2:30pm
12/20: End of 2nd Qtr
12/23-1/1/14: Winter Break
1/2/2014: School Resumes
NELSON'S SCHOOL MOTTO:
I will do my best, use good manners and cooperate with everyone at school!